When you hear Amsterdam, you probably think immediately of wild parties, decadence, tall girls in clogs, weed and the Red Light District, but it's not all about that. These things make up the general cliché that has become an important part of the collective conscience. But it would be a pity to get stuck in this boring frame of mine and not be willing to discover the hidden surprises that Amsterdam and its surrounding have to offer and we promise you, it is going to be a really amazing experience, as the suburbs and the town nearby are truly wonderful places to visit and enrich your life experience even more than the Amsterdam that we all know.
So let’s see where to begin our new adventure:
To begin with, we suggest you to go on a trip to Volendam or Leiden, it doesn’t matter in which order you begin.
If the largest garden in the world does not attract you and for you it is enough to see the flower market, which still looks like taken out of a fairytale, you could explore more thoroughly authentic territory of the Netherlands with windmills and fishing villages, far from the uproar the metropolitan area of Amsterdam.
And if you want to learn of the untold stories that are not listed in guidebooks, it’s known that you always have to talk with the fishermen. So you could visit a fishing village just north of the capital, Volendam, only 30 minutes away from the city center. It can be reached by bus or bicycle, the vehicle of choice for the Dutch.
Another trip that you can take during your weekend in Amsterdam is a stop in Leiden, a city of the students, not exceeding a population of 100,000 people. Those who have visited say it's a miniature city that resembles Amsterdam. Leiden is the birthplace of Rembrandt and a perfect place to explore Holland on bicycle without dealing with the excess of bikes that dot the city center, where you have to be a professional biker with great reflexes not get confuse in traffic, as it's pretty crowded. On the other hand, prices in cities near Amsterdam are somewhat lower, so you could have lunch in Leiden and you will discover that you can even put aside money for more souvenirs and gifts. Everyone purchases waffles from the Netherlands! Although they have a bit more calories that you would want, they are absolutely delicious, especially those with caramel.
Another surprise is a trip to the Hoge Veluwe National Park. If you have already visited the Dutch capital and you're ready for a different experience, and you want your weekend here to consist in more relaxation, you could rent a car to go into one of the most beautiful parks in the Netherlands.
Do not imagine that you will wake up in the wilderness. You can stroll around by foot or by bike to see the animals in their natural environment and you can take the lunch in one of the many restaurants in the area. Or just as well you could explore the desert area of the park, which will remind you of the African dunes - although it's not nearly the same thing -, or you can take a walk through the green forests and admire the shallow lakes and rivers. The park is known for the population of tuskers, bighorn sheep and deer. What would you like to see?
Hoge Veluwe Park is half an hour from Amsterdam. And you can get there by car or train passing through Ultrech. You have to pay entry, but you can rent a bicycle for free to explore the surroundings. Either you can discover on foot.
Pic8: holland.comA PICTURESQUE WEEKEND IN AMSTERDAM A PICTURESQUE WEEKEND IN AMSTERDAM